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How to check on your credit card application

Haven't received a response for your credit card application? Don't fret - simply check the status of your application.

When you apply for a credit card, you can usually expect a response within 60 seconds. However, if you still haven’t heard back from the provider, it might be time to take things into your own hands. It’s not a difficult process, but to make things even easier, we’ve offered up some tips on how to best approach the situation.

How long does it take for my credit card application to be approved?

  • On average 1-2 weeks (if not instant approval)

Although you may be given instant approval or conditional approval, credit card providers can take between one to two weeks to review an application. If you’re an existing member of the bank, the process may be quicker as they already have some of your verified information in their systems and are better aware of your financial picture.

The general rule is to provide all of the required information when you apply, as this will generally speed up the approval process. In addition, be absolutely certain that you meet all of the eligibility requirements for the card before applying.

How can I check on my application?

If you haven’t received a response regarding your credit card application, you can contact your provider using the phone number listed below.

LenderTelephone number
American Express1-800-668-2639
ATB1-800-332-8383 or 1-844-392-9359
Capital One1-877-383-4802
PC Financial1-866-246-7262

Reasons why your application is taking longer than expected

If your credit card application is taking longer than usual to process, it could be due to one of the following reasons:

  • The provider thinks that certain information on your application may be insufficient, incorrect or inconsistent, and may require additional information or changes.
  • The provider has spotted marks on your credit file that it wishes to analyze further or discuss with you.
  • The provider has to deal with a large number of applications and hasn’t reached yours yet.
  • The provider has misplaced your application.

Resolving the matter is often simple, and can sometimes take no more than a single phone call. Monitor your calls, inbox and mailbox in case the provider is trying to get in touch with you – but know that calling them first is always the quicker option.

What responses can I expect when applying for a card?

Traffic light with greenlight onInstant approval

With online applications, approval can be verified within 60 seconds. While lending criteria varies between different credit card providers, they will usually be looking to verify your identity and check your credit score. By providing all the required information and keeping a good credit history, you can look forward to instant approval. Traffic light with amber light on


If your credit card application is under referral, the card provider typically requires more time to carry out further assessments before giving you a conclusive answer.

Conditional approval

Getting conditional approval essentially means that the credit card provider is buying time to verify your details before granting approval. In such a scenario, you might have to provide personal identification documents or paycheques by visiting a branch office or sending them via fax. Complete approval only takes effect after you’ve provided the additional information.Traffic light with red light on

Application not approved

The reason behind a provider not approving your application could be that you haven’t met the eligibility criteria for the credit card. Factors could include insufficient income, poor creditworthiness and unstable employment. If you’ve been rejected, don’t apply for another credit card straight away. Instead, either request a copy of your credit report to make sure everything’s in order or start comparing other cards to apply for in a few months – making sure you’re paying attention to the eligibility requirements.

Common mistakes to avoid when awaiting the status of your credit card application

  • Lodging multiple credit card applications in a short period of time.
    You may be tempted to apply for another credit card while you’re waiting for a response, but multiple simultaneous applications will have a negative impact on your credit file.
  • Your credit report has errors on it.
    If your application was rejected and you’re unsure why, make sure you meet the eligibility requirements and order a copy of your credit score to make sure you haven’t fallen victim to fraud or mistakes on your file. If you find a genuine error on the report, contact the credit card provider and the credit bureau (Equifax or TransUnion) to have it corrected.
  • Watch out for customer service delays.
    It could take days or even weeks for a bank to respond to an email enquiry and it’s common to expect wait times when you’re contacting the customer service phone line. Avoid calling early in the morning, at lunch time or after 5pm when they’re likely to be inundated with calls.

Applying for a credit card is one thing, but receiving it is quite another. You may have to wait a considerable period for it, which is why we recommend you apply in advance and always stay on top of your application by calling your provider.

Compare credit cards

Looking to apply for a credit card? Compare options below to find the right one for you.

Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Purchase Interest Rate Annual Fee Min. Credit Score Description
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
10% cash back
Up to 2% cash back
Min. recommended credit score: 600
Earn 10% cash back (up to $100) when you spend $1,000 in the first 2 months. Valid until October 31, 2023. Plus, get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months.
BMO CashBack Mastercard
5% cash back
Up to 3% cash back
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Get 5% cash back on all eligible purchases in the first three months of card membership (up to max. spend of $2,500). Plus, get a rate of 0.99% on balance transfers for 9 months. A 2% fee applies to transferred balances.
Tangerine World Mastercard
10% cash back
Up to 2% cash back
Min. recommended credit score: 600
Earn 10% cash back (up to $100) when you spend $1,000 in the first 2 months. Valid until October 31, 2023. Plus, get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months.
RBC Avion Visa Infinite
55,000 points
Up to 1 point per $1 spent
Min. recommended credit score: 650
Get up to 55,000 Welcome Points (value of up to $1,100). Apply by November 27, 2023.
American Express Cobalt Card
30,000 points
Up to 5x points per $1 spent
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn up to 30,000 Membership Rewards points in your first year. Earn 2,500 Membership Rewards points for each monthly billing period in which you spend $500 in net purchases on your card (up to 30,000 points). That’s up to $300 towards a weekend getaway or concert tickets.
12,000 points
3 points per $1 spent
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Get 12,000 Avion points when you get approved for the card. Apply by October 31, 2023.
BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard
0.99% rate on balance transfers for 9 months
$0 annual fee for the first year ($29 thereafter)
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Get a rate of 0.99% on balance transfers for 9 months with a 2% transfer fee. Plus, get the $29 annual fee waived in the first year.

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